Theresa May to meet Cabinet ministers for Brexit discussions

Updated: 

Theresa May is set to meet with her senior Cabinet ministers to discuss department-by-department Brexit action plans.

Wednesday's Cabinet meeting is due to take place at the Prime Minister's country retreat Chequers and working on the UK's divorce from Brussels will be at the top of the agenda.

Mrs May has tasked her colleagues with setting out the opportunities that leaving the European Union (EU) will create in each of their portfolios.

The Cabinet will meet to discuss Brexit as it appears increasingly likely that Mrs May will not seek Parliament's approval before formally triggering Article 50, which will kick off a two-year period of exit negotiations between the UK and the EU.

Downing Street has said MPs will be given "a say" on the process for the UK's departure from the EU.

However, a spokesman declined several opportunities to say whether Parliament will be given a formal vote on the triggering of Article 50 when pressed by reporters on Tuesday.

Number 10 has insisted there is "no legal obligation" for Mrs May to consult Parliament before invoking the Article.

The comments leave open the possibility that negotiations could be launched without the approval of MPs being sought and Parliament could debate the issue without a formal vote taking place.

Downing Street has also confirmed that Mrs May will not hold a second referendum or an early general election to give voters the chance to sign off on any deal struck between the UK and the EU.

Mrs May is also expected to use the Cabinet meeting to compare Tory party unity with the turmoil within the Labour Party, despite reports of an ongoing feud between the ministers in charge of the main Brexit departments: Boris Johnson, Liam Fox and David Davis.

The UK's future outside the EU will be a key issue during the Prime Minister's first full week back at work following her summer holiday in Switzerland as she travels to the G20 summit in China at the weekend.

The summit will represent Mrs May's first international trip outside Europe as Prime Minister and she is expected to use it to highlight post-Brexit opportunities to other world leaders.

The Cabinet meeting at Chequers has prompted the SNP to accuse the Government of showing "breathtaking complacency".

The party's European affairs spokesman Stephen Gethins said: "It is over two months since the result of the Brexit referendum and ministers are only now being asked to come up with their ideas about how it might work at a 'country house away day'.

"This is breathtaking complacency from a government that got us all into this mess in the first place."